I've been thinking about you often lately.
My feet walk the streets of a city that's not my own.
My career and the fear that I'll wander these streets alone.
I've been thinking about you often lately and our tireless embrace of the oldest clichés, the time that erases the places we stayed, the back alley shows and the old videos, the memory albums never arranged, and all the vacations that never came.
I promised you England again, you promised me Spain, and after more places than we could name.
I've been thinking about you often lately, how I'd only follow you so far, how you'd curl in a ball on the sofa, cat-like purr, engine hum.
The mildest frustrations would turn into love affairs in the warmest stares.
Is it too late to renew it again?
This is the first single on my new album, "My Airport, Your Airport," which I'll be releasing in its entirety a little later this year.
This is an unusually direct song for me, with the lyrics explicitly thought out rather than freestyled and scavenged like I usually do, and clearly about one topic rather than being defensively layered in potential interpretations. The lyrics floated without melody or backbeat for several months before I found a home for them in this dancehall-style riff. I have a long-standing interest in minimalist composition—Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Terry Riley, acid house, etc.—and as a producer I like the idea that multiple samples and grooves can be mixed and matched and any sample can fit over any measure of the song. In this type of composition, it's the building and subtracting of layers that creates the forward momentum. This is a simple four chord hop-step (e, G, C, G) but it gets sonically dense in the middle with interlocking layers of percussion, alternating bass grooves, vocal harmonies, the piano hook, strings, a lead synth, and chopped up guitar chords slowed and played backwards at multiple pitches. Everything here is recorded in little 4-8 bar bursts, sampled, and looped.
Last night I dreamed of the right city before me. I kissed my love goodbye and rode the trains at night with the right city outside, and I could not be happier.
The right city wins the odd championship, and the museums stand adjacent to the buildings and bridges, and in the pride of the night crooked steel arise, dirt and refuse on the walks outside.
My home overlooks the waterways, facile eyes passing me by, and constantly the people all look at me in the right way in the gardens, and I could not be happier.
And I found my love in the right city, I found a good job in the right city, and I could not be happier.
This is the second single on my new album, "My Airport, Your Airport."
This is my favorite song I've ever written, and one that I had to live my whole life to date to write. It cements the idea of how I ultimately want to live my life as an imperfect but happy being in an imperfect but dynamic city. Big shout-out to my Warwick $$ Corvette bass guitar, which survived Hurricane Sandy and has been my workhorse through thick and thin for almost a decade, and which anchors this song. I wouldn't want it any other way.
I've been recording tracks under the Industrial Theme Park name since the early 2000s. Inspired by the view off the Chicago Skyway at night, Industrial Theme Park is about combining the organic and the synthetic, live instruments and electronics, to create a musical snapshot of our transient, confusing world.
Below you can explore two musical collections (with a third coming soon):